Thursday, May 31, 2012

Foundry SYW Russians

Russian Commander stand

Several people asked me to post some more pictures of the Foundry Russians that I am selling, so here they are.

I did an inventory of units today and can report that I have 26 battalions - 7 in green coats and 19 in the red sleeved waistcoat (worn in most of the battles fought by the Russians in the SYW). Here is a list of the available units for sale.

Green Coated Btns
Smolensk Regt. - 2 btns   sold
Schlusselberg Regt. - 2 btns  sold
Kexholm Regt. - 2 btns sold
2nd Grenadier Regt. - 1 btn. sold

Red Waistcoat Btns
Azov Regt. - 2 btns sold
Voronezh Regt. - 2 btns sold
St. Petersburg Regt. - 2 btns sold
Neva Regt. - 2 btns sold
1st /2nd/3rd Grenadiers - 3 btns (one of each) sold
Novgorod Regt. - 1 btn sold

1st Observation Corps Regt - 2 btns sold
3rd Observation Corps Regt - 2 btns sold
5th Observation Corps Regt - 2 btns sold
Observation Corps Grenadiers - 1 btn sold
I have two Shuvolov Secret Howitzers that will be included with the Observation Corp.

Closeup of the Smolensk Regiment 

Another close up of the second Smolensk battalion in the regiment

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

SYW Russian & British Figure Sale

RSM Miniatures - British Brigade

RSM Miniatures - 8th Regiment of Horse

British Brigade of RSM SYW Figures  These Figures Have Been Sold.
I am reluctantly putting up this RSM SYW British project for sale. The infantry brigade consists of 90 foot divided into three regiments: 8th (Kings) Regt; 12th (Napier's) Regt.; and the 42nd (Royal Black Watch) Regiment. It also includes 12 heavy cavalry - 8th Horse. I will also throw in two 6-pdr artillery pieces each with four crew (to be painted). Total cost for the whole kit and kaboodle is $1,120.00 That works out to $10 per figure. Shipping extra.

The figures are individually based on 3/4" square (about 20mm square) metal bases and the units would be perfect for an Old School SYW army. In fact, this is what I designed it for. I also have a partially painted fourth infantry regiment of hat men in blue facings. We can negotiate what to do with these if you elect to buy the brigade. I can also terrain the figure bases at no extra charge, or you can stay with the Old School motif and leave the bases painted dark green.

I have the correct GMB Designs flags that I will include at no extra charge.

This was the start of my own personal Old School project using some of my favorite figures of all time: RSM Miniatures. 

Minden Hanoverian Regiment 4B - 30 figures

Minden Miniatures Hanoverian Regiment
Also for sale is a single battalion of nice looking regiment of Minden Hanoverian infantry - 30 figures plus two Flag Dude flags for a total price of $300.00 plus shipping. These were painted by my nephew, Alex Akers, who is a Golden Demon winner. He really did a nice job on this unit. The bases are 60mm by 40mm deep and are nicely terrained with static grass and ground turf.

Foundry SYW Russian Brigades (up to 7 brigades available)

Russian brigade of two regiments, divided into two battalions per regiment; plus mounted officer stand, battalion gun with 2 crew and field gun with 4 crew. All Foundry figures painted by Der Alte Fritz.

Close up view of the same brigade.

Russian brigade dressed in summer kit ; red sleeved waistcoats, green coats were collected prior to the battle and stored at the wagon park with all of the baggage.

Each Russian infantry brigade is priced at $740.00 plus shipping and includes four battalions of 20 figures, a command stand of mounted officers, one battalion gun with 2 crewmen, and one larger field artillery piece with 4 crewmen. Available in limited quantities in either green coats or summer red sleeved waist coats. They are all Foundry figures sculpted largely by Mark Copplestone. Discounts are available if you buy two or more brigades at the same time.

If you have an interest in any of these items from my collection, then drop me a personal e-mail at 
"altefritz1740 (at) (yahoo) (dot) (com) to make arrangements for purchase and shipping.

Proceeds from the sale are being reinvested into the Fife & Drum Miniatures range of AWI figures.

Oh, and click on the pictures to enlarge the view.

Figure Sale Pending

Just a quick "heads up" to let you know that tomorrow night I will be posting information on my SYW Russian army that is going on sale. The figures are mostly Foundry, with a scattering of Front Rank artillery crews, horse grenadiers and some of those whompin' big Russian artillery pieces from Front Rank. I will be asking around $8.00 per foot figure and artillery crew figure. Cavalry will be going for $12.00 each. I haven't yet priced commander's stands and artillery pieces, but bear with me.

The infantry are organized into 20 figure battalions, with two battalions making up a regiment of 40 figures. They are mounted on metal bases so that you can transport them in boxes with magnetic sheet.

Pictures tomorrow, but if you are interested or have any questions, then send me an e-mail at:

altefritz1740  (at) yahoo (dot) (com)

Any spammers will be summarily tried and executed, but all other inquiries are welcome.

I also have a Minden Hanoverian infantry battalion going for $300 for a 30 figure battalion, with Flag Dude flags (2 flags).

Everything is "as is", so I will not be rebasing the figures for anyone.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Napoleon's Triumph

I have just started reading the second book in James Arnold's series covering Napoleon's campaign in Poland during 1806-1807. This follow up on Arnold's Crisis in the Snows: Russia Confronts Napoleon The Eylau Campaign 1806-1807.

This is not meant to be a book review, other than to simply post that I am reading the book and that it is giving me some good ideas for wargaming. I believe that Jim Arnold is a wargamer in addition to being a writer of good historical books. This kind of shows in terms of the quality of his maps and the orders of battle that are included with the book - both of which are helpful in setting up a game scenario. A campaign is made up of many small encounters and battles, leading up to the climax of the big battle, be it Eylau or Friedland.

I already have a French army (1:10 ratio using 28mm figures) and an 1806 Prussian army, and have a brigade of Russians too (with a horse artillery battery - love those Elite Miniatures artillery pieces!), so this book hits the sweet spot for me, in terms of content and a cornucopia of ideas for smaller battle scenarios.

One intriguing idea is the thought of what might have happened had the British followed through with their interest in landing an expeditionary force in Stralsund in 1807, joining coalition partner Sweden. The plan was to send in the King's German Legion, some 9,000 infantry in all, to join the 13,000 Swedes already in Stralsund. From there, they could attack Marshall Mortier's corps and then possibly the garrison at Stettin. This would then threaten Napoleon's supply lines from Berlin to Poland and possibly force Napoleon to call off operations in Poland (not likely in my opinion). I think that Napoleon would have turned his forces on to the British with a vengeance, much like he did in Spain during the Corunna Campaign. Such an expedition would have been highly risky for the British. Ultimately though, this did not happen as British resources were tied up in the failed enterprise to capture Buenos Aires in Spanish owned Argentina (Spain was an ally of France in 1806, thus the British were attacking a French ally).

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Some Old Veterans From Connoisseur

Connoisseur Peninsula British Light Company figures

This afternoon I took a little break from painting SYW cavalry to paint three old Connoisseur Peninsula British that I found laying in a box. They were partially painted (faces, basic red coat and grey pants blocked in) and I figure that they have been in that state since about 1992. So these guys are AT LEAST 20 YEARS OLD!

I have to say that Peter Gilder's Connoisseur range still holds up very well in comparison to the panoply of figures that are available on the market today. In fact, I would go further and say that when it comes to Napoleonics, I prefer Connoisseur figures over all else. They not only bring on a nostalgic twinge for me, but they still look so gosh darn good.

Light Co. Officer and Centre Co. ranker

Centre Co. ranker and Highlander Centre Co. figures

Front and rear views of the Light Co. ranker

I have a regiment of British figures on order from Bicorne Miniatures, the current owner of the Connoisseur range of figures and these will be about 84 figures strong: 1 to 10 ratio with 12 figures per company and 7 companies (including one each of the flank companies - grenadier and light). So the three extra figures that I had laying around were all light company figures: an Officer wearing a pelisse and two rankers standing and firing. This gives me a three figure head start on the regiment, which will become the 94th Regiment of Foot.

After our last battle at Costa Blanca (a French rout of the British army), it became clear to me and Bill that we need to add new British battalions, and fast! I will probably break the figures down into groups of a dozen and paint them here and there as time permits. It is kind of nice to have some primed figures "in stock" ready to paint when you fancy painting something a bit different from whatever it is that you are working on.

Some SYW Minden Figures

Here are several close up shots of some of the Minden cavalry that I am currently painting on commission for a collector. I'm really posting these pictures for him, but I thought that everyone else would enjoy peaking at them too. (PS: Your second box arrived today.)

Von Seydlitz - Minden Minatures

Esterhazy Hussar in Austrian Service - Minden Miniatures

Austrian Cuirassier Trooper - Minden Miniatures

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cavalry Painting Ideas

I'm working on a painting commission of a batch of SYW cavalry and I think that I stumbled upon an idea that gets me to the finish line sooner.

After priming the figures and laying down the base coat of black acrylic (to cover up the raw primer paint, which sometimes has a rougher surface than does acrylic), I tried painting the entire horse before moving on to the rider. I glue horse and rider together in one piece prior to priming them. I know that some people keep the two separate and only glue them together at the end.

I use a lot of dry brushing technique on my horses, which means that it is common to have some of the horse color spill over onto the rider. This means that I have to go back and touch up the rider to eliminate the excess paint. However, if I paint the entire horse first, then I don't have to spend time touching up the rider. I simply move on to painting the rider. The net result is that it seems to make the painting process go faster. Also, it eliminates the "dreads" that I get when I paint the horse last. I don't always like painting horses so this dread sort of goes away, i.e. once the rider is finished, so is the entire figure.

On another front, I have found that I am starting to mix my own colors when I paint. Oh, I'll use the base color right out of the bottle, but now I tend to use the base color plus a lighter color mixed in to provide the highlight color to the figure. This way I am sure to get a highlight that is in the same part of the color wheel as the base color. Sometimes using triad paint groups just doesn't give me the result that I'm looking for.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Some Minden Austrian Cavalry

Esterhazy Hussar Regiment in Austrian service

I have been busy working on a painting commission for some Minden Miniatures SYW Austrian and Prussian cavalry figures. You can see the early results in a couple of photos taken with my iPhone, so I apologize for the dodgy quality of the pictures. I was setting up a photo shoot this evening when my camera battery died and had to be recharged. I wanted the client to be able to see the pictures today, so I had to resort to the iPhone as a Plan B.

The commission also includes a dozen Prussian hussars in mirliton, which will end up being the Black Hussars on white (greys) horses. I primed the hussars this evening so they should be ready for painting on Thursday evening. With the long holiday weekend coming up, I ought to be able to knock the Black Hussars out in a couple of days and get the lads sent on to their new inhaber.
Leopold Cuirassier Regiment in Austrian service.
I had a little bit of trouble getting my hands around the task of painting the Esterhazy Hussars. Given their bright colors, I primed them in grey rather than my normal black primer. This results in a brighter looking figure for light blues or reds. The one draw back is that after priming and laying on the base coat of uniform colors, I then have to go back and paint ALL of the equipment black - and this can get a bit tedious until you hit your painting rhythm.  Equipment gets an under coat of black so that the brown (muskets and hair) and the cross belts (grey or white) have more depth to their final colors. This is the exact opposite of painting with reds or light blues.

Eventually, I figured out how to paint the hussar figure in the most efficient manner, and then, they really started to roll off of the assembly line. The cuirassiers painted up much faster as they have less detail (lace, van dyking on the horse furniture, etc). The cuirassier picture is slightly blurry so it doesn't give you a true look at how the final product looks.

I wanted to terrain the bases, but the client wanted them just painted green so that he could apply his own basing material and have his new figures match the basing of his existing SYW units.

I particularly like the Austrian cuirassier figures in red. I have one unit for my own Austrian army in blue facings, but I like the red much better. I think that I might have to order some Minden castings for myself and paint a unit of Austrian cuirassiers for my army.

I kind of hate to see these fine figures go, but they were fun to paint and the commission provides more funds for my Fife & Drum range of AWI figures.

I will post more pictures within a couple of days after the Black Hussars are completed.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

SYW Prussian Troop Review

Der Alte Fritz's Prussian Army for B.A.R. rules.

This afternoon I cleared off my game table in the Man Cave and set out all of my 30mm Seven Years War Prussians for a troop review. I had not had such a review in quite awhile, perhaps 2 years, and thought that it would be a good idea ahead of our next SYW BAR rules game in July. Secondly, one of my friends declared that having a troop review does wonders towards lifting one's spirits. Thirdly, does anyone really need to have a reason to hold a grand troop review?

You can see the whole army in the picture at the top of the page. It includes 12 battalions of infantry, 1 light jager battalion, 4 regiments of cuirassiers, 1 regiment of dragoons, and 2 regiments of hussars. In addition, I have an artillery battalion consisting of 3 large 12 pound Brummers, 3  medium 6 pounders, and 2 light 6 pound horse artillery guns.

At one time, I had as many as 20 battalions of infantry (maybe even 21) but these have been whittled down by the ongoing war with Gallia and The Imperium to a mere dozen line units plus the jagers. ( I divested IR1, IR7, IR8, IR13, IR25, IR35, 1/23 Grenadiers and the von Kliest Kroaten over the past several years). I guess that War really is Hell. Actually, I found that a dozen battalions or so were more than enough forces for me to game with, even on a 20ft long table with two parallel back tables. Now there have been some games during the interim, when we used over 20 battalions (of 60 figures each) in our three Large special games. In those instances, I was able to get the new owners of my old troops to bring them to the game and command the figures themselves. 

3 Cuirassier Regts (13 squadrons total)

The picture above depicts the cuirassier brigade of the right wing: CR13 Gardes du Corps (3sqds), CR10 Gensdarmes (5 sqds) and CR2 Prinz von Preussen (5 sqds). With two guard regiments, this brigade is the "elite of the elite". The figures used are from Elite Miniatures (CR13 and CR2) and Crusader Miniatres (CR10 - the regiment in the middle).

Cuirassiers, Dragoons & Hussars
The above picture depicts the mixed brigade of the left wing consisting of the CR8 Seydiltz Cuirassiers (Suren figures), The DR2 Krakow Dragoons (Suren figures), HR2 Zieten Hussars (Stadden figures) and HR5 von Reusch/Black Hussars (Stadden figures). There are also some Foundry dismounted Black Hussars to use when I choose to dismount the hussars and have them fight on foot.

Infantry Brigade von Saldern

The von Saldern infantry brigade is the elite brigade of the army, consisting of (from front to back) the IR15/III  Garde Btn. (Stadden), the IR6 Grenadier Garde Battalion (Suren), 19/26 Heyden Grenadier Battalion (Elite Miniatures) and IR19 Margraf Karl (Elite Miniatures).

Prinz Moritz infantry brigade

The Prinz Moritz infantry brigade is comprised of my own Potsdam Miniatures 30mm figures which I had commissioned a few years ago. The figures are done in a firing line with the front rank kneeling to receive cavalry, the second rank standing firing and the third rank at the ready. I usually have an officer at the end of the front rank, an NCO in the second rank, and the drummer in the third rank. The regiments are, front  to back, IR5 Alt Braunschweig, IR20 Bornstadt, IR18 Prinz von Preussen, and 5/20 Grenadier Battalion. All the flags in my army are from GMB Designs.

Infantry Brigade von Bevern
I sometimes call the von Bevern infantry brigade the "Old School" Brigade because it inclues some Surens, Staddens and RSM figures, plus a battalion of the new Minden Prussians. From front to back, we have IR24 von Schwerin (Suren), IR12 Alt Darmstadt (Stadden), IR34 Prinz Ferdinand (Minden) and IR42 Fusilier battalion (?) (RSM figures).

Artillery Battalion
Here you can see the Prussian artillery park with a battalion of heavy guns on the field. I have not found any decent 30mm Prussian artillery pieces, so I used the exquisitely detailed Elite Miniatures SYW French Valliere cannon in my Prussian army. I reason that the guns were captured from the French at Rossbach (and who is to argue with that?) and the carriages were repainted in Prussian Blue rather than French Red. The first three cannon on the left are the French 12-pounders from Elite. These are HUGE and so I use them as the heavy 12-pound Brummers that Frederick used at Leuthen. The Brummers were actually fortress guns borrowed from the Prussian fort at Glogau. The next four pieces are French 6-pounders. I use them largely as Prussian 6-pounders, but now I'm kind of thinking that they should be "Light" Prussian 12-pounders. The fourth gun is missing its limber, probably in another storage box with my British army, I would guess. Beyond that, we can barely glimpse the two 6-pound horse artillery guns (Berlin Zinnfiguren 6 pounders) manned by Hinchcliffe Horse Artillery crew.  All of the limbers and horses shown above are from RSM Miniatures. Finally, off in the distance, you can glimpse the Jager Battalion comprised of Perry AWI Hessian Jagers (these are wonderful figures), some Front Rank jagers and a couple other odds and sods mixed in for variety's sake.

In looking at the above, it is clear to me that I need to have some 3-pound regimental guns and crew, probably 1 or 2 of these per brigade of infantry. And I need to find that missing limber. The Brummer gun crew are all Stadden 30mm AWI artillery crewmen while the rest of the guns have Foundry Prussian crews. I might use the Foundry Prussian 12-pounder as my 3-pound regimental cannon as they look smaller in comparison to the large 30mm crew figures.

The infantry battalions look to be in pretty good shape. Nothing needed in the way of repairs or additions. Here and there, some of the cavalry regiments need some squadron standards so that every squadron has a standard. I will add four more Garde du Corps to bump this up from 44 to 48 figures. Finally, the Jagers need 12 more figures to bring the battalion up to 60 figures. I will use more Perry AWI Hessian Jagers for this assignment.

Well, that is the current state of my Prussian army for the Batailles de l'Ancien Regime ("BAR" for short) rules that our group uses. It is in relatively good shape, save for a few minor repairs here and there. I am confidant that they will perform well in their next battle in July.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Amusettes in the AWI

Hessian Re-enactors demonstrate how to use an amusette.
For some reason today, there seems to be a lot of interest on TMP in a specialty firearm called an Amusette. I copied this picture of some Hessian Jagers deploying  such a piece from the Flint & Tomahawk blog. I have to say, that they kind of cool.

Also, this link takes you to a site that discusses the Hessian amusettes in great detail (well worth the look):

However, this is not the only amusette that I have found during the course of my net surfing. There is another version that the British Royal Artillery used in conjunction with their 3-pound artillery pieces. They would deploy a wooden mantlet on each side of the cannon for protection of the crew. The mantlet had a trap door in the middle, from which out poked one of these large firearms shown in the picture above.

To make a long story short, I have plans to add some of these "funnies", as Winston Churchill would call them, to the Fife & Drum range of AWI artillery equipment. It should prove to be, ahem, amusing, don't you think?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fife & Drum Artillery Crews Have Arrived!

British Artillery Crew  - Loading Set

I was very pleased to open my e-mail this morning and find my mail box full of pictures of the new greens for the Fife & Drum AWI artillery crews. Each army will have a set of four Firing Crew and four Loading Crew, or 16 new figures in total. Richard Ansell, the sculptor, has once again created superb works of art that really convey the action of the artillery crew in its loading and firing phases.

The greens will be off to Griffin Designs next week to make the master and production moulds for each set, so I would imagine that these figures will be available for sale in June 2012.

And least you were wondering, there will be a complete range of artillery equipment for the AWI in the Fife & Drum range. These are being sculpted as we speak and I am targeting the end of June or early July for the arrival of British, American and French field pieces, limbers and a surprise or two that I think you will really like.

British Artillery Crew - Loading Set

The British "Loading Set" is shown in the two pictures above, front and rear views, for your perusal. Next on stage: the "Firing Set":

British Artillery Crew - Firing Set (I just love the two men covering their ears before the blast goes off!)

And now, let us take a look at the American or Continental Artillery crews:

Continental Artillery Crew - Loading Set

Continental Artillery Crew - Firing Set

We chose to depict the Continentals wearing overalls (i.e. the ones that look like stirrup pants ) so that they could do double duty as either Continental or British artillery (before the latter ditched their tricorn hats). The crews are cast with open hands so that you can fit in a variety of artillery tools, that come on a separate sprue. See below:

Artillery tools: portfire, linstock, water bucket; rammer, scoop , worm and trail spike.
I would imagine that with a little creativity, some of these artillery crew figures could be drafted into your line regiments or command stand vignettes too.

Well, there they are! Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. If you notice something missing or incorrect, let me know that as well -- Richard says that we have time to make any changes, if required.

As you can see, Fife & Drum is focused on creating a wide range of AWI figures that will include all of the combat arms (infantry, artillery, and cavalry) plus Personality Figures and other Specials. Slowly but surely, and in a very methodical manner, we are providing the wargamer everything that he needs to build American and British armies for the American Revolution.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Overcoming The Burn-out

Two companies of the 60th Rifles defend themselves, somewhere in Spain. Elite Miniatures figures and Herb Gundt built terrain.

I see that it has been awhile since I have posted anything on my blog. I am fairly certain that it is due to post convention depression or burn out. I had been painting AWI Fife & Drum figures almost non-stop since last June (YIKES, almost a full year ago!) in preparation for running an American Revolution game at the Seven Years War Association Convention in March recent. Add to that all of the hustle and bustle of getting my wares ready to sell at the convention, organizing a wargame, and hauling all of the terrain etc., you can begin to see that I have had a lot on my plate.

I feel like I might have finally turned the corner on wargame burnout. I've been working on a couple of squadron of Vistula Lancers for our Napoleonic game this coming weekend (May 12, 2012) and just finished them at midnight Sunday. Spent another hour cutting out lance pennons and gluing them onto the lance poles. The unit is starting to look good, but I still need to terrain their bases to get them ready for their first battle this weekend. I really needed to paint something different for a change of pace. It pains me to say that I was getting tired of painting tricorns, waistcoats and breeches, but that is indeed the case.

And to think, all of this effort and I have to face them on the table top. I'm playing on the British side.

It actually promises to be a rather interesting game. The scenario will divide the action into a morning scouting session followed by the main battle in the afternoon. For the morning scenario, we will game at a 1 to 1 ratio, meaning each figure represents one actual soldier. It will feature largely light cavalry for both sides and the objective will be to find the opponent's army and to secure a favorable position for the rest of your army for the afternoon game.

Bill P. and I will be commanding two of the British brigades for our inaugural BAR Napoleon campaign in Spain. We will be keeping track of casualties, heros and what not as the battalions of infantry and squadrons of cavalry progress through the campaign. So it will not behoove any of the players to "fight to the last man" as such tactics will surely wreck your regiment and send you home to Old Blighty or to a resting place beneath the Spanish sod. The record keeping will be the same system that Bill uses for his Major General Pettygree Colonial campaigns.

I am really looking forward to our campaign in Spain. I have no idea where it will take me and my 87th Regiment of Foot, but it should be quite an adventure.